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How to get started ! and Possible DX for Electrocoin's Sphinx v2 set 1( NEED FLYER OR MACHINE AND HD CAM IF POSS )

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#1 tga


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Posted 08 October 2013 - 02:06 AM

I rarely post here , but since this new forum is up and no one has posted anything yet , i might as well be first. ( as a note, if you dont understand about co-ordinates and pixel dimensions in general , i would learn about that first , this guide requires you know how to define x , y , z as pixel locations. 
As you may or may not know , early electrocoin hardware is running in Mame and still in the latest 0.150 build. As haze has mentioned there are some issues with certain Pyramid/Lab/sphinx roms and currently only a couple work due to the fact there might of been quite a few bad dumps.  However since its working we might as well look at how to skin with mame, understanding .lay files and whats nessacery to turn the rather informative but unattractive black screen into something we can enjoy.
Someone has previously mentioned about a BFM layout for mame : Doctor Who , which uses the newstyle .lay files.
THIS IS A GREAT EXAMPLE FOR LEARNING THE TRICKS OF THE TRADE, you can find it here, both mame and mess use similar XML config files to allow external artwork and all kinds of modifications.  We will look at this a bit later on.
For this example we will look at at the Sphinx Machine (As its currently booting at least)
And i can slowly build a working DX for what we have.
Before we start , mame has multiple multiple romsets , this is to ensure all versions with working dumps are preserved. SO you will see multiple versions of the same game. 
To get started all we need is MAME , majority of you wont need the links to the Emulator and have probably played it a billion times like me, but incase you havnt..
OFFICAL SITE : mamedev.org/
If you dont want the dos style windows , can use a gui version.  a google search for MameUI or Mameui64 should help :) (mameuifx has removed the fruitmachine/mechcanical element) i think :( so dont use that one.
Next , i found the EC_SPHIN roms seem to boot, in mame this is listed as
SPHINX v2 (Electrocoin) set 1 - EC_SPHIN.zip
There are many mame roms sites, so finding EC_SPHIN.zip or EC_SPHIN.7z shouldnt be hard
just to confirm the container should have 3 files sphinx8c.bin spnx5p and spx10cv2.bin.
now we have mame and the roms to boot sphinx v2 set 1.
You all got to this point and thought, what next .
well we build a .lay file to animate the screen and provide a dx.  A lot of people wonderd why a classic isnt out.  Lemmie explain roughly why .  When building a lay file , Haze has added preliminary support for the game to show function. you will notice the matrix layout and reels, this is the classic.  each of the flashing lights on the matrix represents one of the bulbs for the machine, when the game boots, you will notice the matrix doing the circle thing, like the real machine. This is the classic hehehehe..
If your wondering where the layout comes from , we need to look at the mame source, and the ecoinf3 standard layout.
you can find it here
ecoinf3 is the name of the driver so when mame calls a electrocoin f3 game ( Sphinx/Lab/Pyramid ) this is the default layout for this system.  As you've probably guessed , this is also our template for building a dx.
Another BIG thankyou for haze for doing this, as he has not just paved the way with the emulation, hes shown us everything we need to produce DX's very quickly.
Before we launch head first into making the dx for sphinx, we have to consider a couple of things first.
Mame is a preservation project , trying to provide the most accurate emulation possible.
we need to try and stick to this :)
the reason i mention the above point, is because mame offers a few advantages.  AS fruit machines are pertruding we could use multiple viewpoints to simulate the curve of a fruit machine, and be able to give the view point that were looking up at the board and down at the reels at the same time, sounds crazy i know, but very doable i think.
The other main thing, is working out some specs for the external artwork.  Mame isnt restricted to resolution, it also has the advanced directX stretch and a few other useful handles for displaying video.  SO we're totally unrestricted.
So can we create dx's for mame like we do in mfme? , NO. its potentialy easier.  IF we go back to the doctor who layout thats posted above, we see that theres main images , and images of bulb on and bulb off. thats all we need ! lol.
Now the tricky parts.
when looking at the ecoinf3.lay all the matrix boxes represent a bulb or function of sphinx, the big cluster to the left is obviously the feature board , we know this from booting mame and watching it spin round like on the real thing, if your not sure what sphinx is (OMG....) then look at this ,

when playing on mame , the 3 lights near the top right will flash, this tells us theres a hold, so we know what they are, the difficult bit will be mapping the other inputs and maybe trial and error to get them right. i think Haze has done a great job in seperating them the way he has, it will make this slow, but not painful.
when looking at how i could create a workign dx , i had to study the doctor who layout , look at the images, and the lay file explains that when a input is called, the layout will then change the graphic to another image. so this is the whole bulb on and bulb off concept. Haze has mapped all the inputs, so even if we just had a static (flyer) style image, we could photoshop a light behind it , cut out the image, save as png, then add the relevant code to the layout file. that simple. If i had a HD cam and the machine, i could workout the viewpoint for the camera , mimic this in mame, create duel viewpoint, and have slightly more realistic view on the machine.  could be possible to do this in 3d and maybe use vectors, and go for some thing like futurepinball, i love how its been done, multiple viewpoints etc etc.
What i need to create a working DX of sphinx is ether the original Flyer , in HD res if poss, or the real machine and someone with a good camera (phone would work if its over 7mpx) and some time on there hands.  next i would need to go into photoshop create a main background of the machine and begin cutting up the bits that light up.  match the images to the matrix ident's
example :
<backdrop name="lamp7" element="matrixlamp" state="0">
89   <bounds x="56" y="0" width="7" height="7"/>
this lamp could be modified to something like
    <element name="lamp7" defstate="0">
        <image state="1" file="lamp7.png"/>
and add its co-ordinates in relation to the main image.
( ive not included the co-ordinate mappings ) instead of haveing a static backdrop represent the matrix , we change it to a element, and with a proper background picture setup, when the input is called (lamp7), the image will change to the lit up graphic "lamp7.png"  as long as the pixel locations are defined and accurate.
Couple of things, im no FM hardware expert , im not sure if the xml ive quoted is 100% acurate , but this is a rough guide to show you how to create a custom layout for mame/mess.  there are great guides to do with the XML and lay files.  , Mr Do's site in particular :
theres a.lay file creator, but it wont be that much help to us.  ideally we need a simple VB/vc++ tool to load a image , create markers(like highlight boxes), work out the dimensions in pixels, cut the image up and create the .lay file to match it, if i get really bored i will make one.
once you've created a lay file, put the images and the lay file in the artwork folder in a zip, probs under the name of EC_SPHIN.zip if you've changed the name (halfway down ? )from AWP no external artwork to your own (maybe SPHINXv2DX or something ) ( using the ecoinf3.lay template), you should beable to go into mame's options and change the video to your external layout, bob's ya uncle you have a working DX in mame.
Current Points of interest  : bad roms dumps / emulation not complete / lamp idents unmapped (unless im a n00b and missed something in the mame source) the doctor who lay file XML may not be accurate for use in mame, but im guessing it is.
SO , get the sphinx flyer or worst case solution, use the youtube video above to pull graphics. if someone has this beauty of a machine and a decent cam , i have ideas for how to try and create the most realistic possible simulation :)
other solution, the mfme 2.1 source is listed on the agemame link above for the doctor who layout, it would probs take a skilled programmer couple of hours to pull mame source , integrate with mfme 2.1 and use the tools to crate a working classic quite quickly, probs best to stick with mame, but as the source is avaiable this could also be easily possible.
A lot of food for thought here ,
Hope the few hours i put in investigateing this helps you all, yes many spellign mistakes,
The thing with mame is its a community project , so to make this quicker i will need people to help identify which lamp is what and provide graphics/flyers etc , we can all chip in and beable to play sphinx,
WTF is better than that :)
If you work out the lamp mapping's please post them below. If you have already produced a skin or dx for sphinx, please post below, if you have flyer or ripped the original artwork stright out of the cab please post below, and if you've read this and created a working layout for sphinx, get it on here !!!!!!!!!!!!!
so now we know what to do and where to start
hope this helps ( there could be big mistakes lol :( )
if nothing comes up next few days , i will make a working layout for sphinx and get it up. im really busy at the mo and dunno how long the mapping of the lamp idents will take , but i'l make something !
Also , it is possible to use advanced effects and alpha blending through mame's video calls , if anyone becomes really in the know about this, please post a guide :D

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#2 tga


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Posted 08 October 2013 - 03:19 AM

ok im bored so going to write a little more.....


where to start , if i watch the youtube video above theres 7 mins of footage , maybe enough to work out the reel list. if i slow it down. need to  pickup the number boards location on the matrix ( will be lights going off on odd spins , could be easy to spot,) , with that in mind, could be trial and error getting the numbers on the reel to match the number board on the matrix (this is probably the longist process) , once thats been sorted , can line up a lot of matrix locations from reel combination collects, the feature board looks already mapped , getting feature start and checking start location on matrix should check if its in the right location. hold buttons are easily spotted, just need to check ecoinf3.lay and match pixel locations. the last few should be workable from reel combinations and collects thinking about it, everythign seems to be workign quite quickly , might have to slow mame's emulation speed down to proper check the lights. wish i had some of that squared paper from school, could of mapped the inital start postion of the matrix and had a easy reference. instead im going to be pro and plug in a second monitor along side the 40" hdtv and have a duel screen mame boot, leave 2 with game loaded with credit in but not play it to show intial empty matrix , use 1 to track matrix movements, might be wise to start 1 , play 2-3 credits, restart and check from there , if theres a change , it should lead me to the number board i can hopefully guess the number gotton by the light changes ( yes im forest gump) and try and place reels to that , hopefully after placeing the reels i can match that and get them accurate. with the reels accurate should be in the bag.

#3 tga


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Posted 08 October 2013 - 04:31 AM

watching the roms in attract, the big line on the far right is the numbers/fruit/jp symbols at a guess, if im right i can just play it for a bit, look at the reel list taken from the vid above, i doubt the reels would differ on v1 > v2 if thats a v1 machine in the video, so hopefully this will work , i could infact cut the reels from that vid in 720p mode and begin building the .png's for the .lay. watchin that vid, reel skill comes up, makes getting the reel list rather easy. just noting it now, i wonder if all the reels reset to postion 1 on that feature. Probably not, also wonder if the jp spins in on boot, have a complete reel list now.  cause the reels are spining quite quick missed a few of the numbers i think, but i can watch the video, check reel position and get rest from there . theres a few sphinx videos on youtube, i can probs use them to double check and see if theres any differences.


reel list


1. jp cherry/2 jp/2

2. 7 7 7/B

3. cherry/4 cherry/B cherry/P

4. melon/P melon melon

5. grape/B grape/2 grape/3

6. orange orange/P orange

7. jp/P jp jp

8. plum plum/B plum/B

9. 7/2 cherry/P 7

10. cherry 7/3 cherry/P

11. Plum/2 cherry plum

12. melon/P melon/B melon/2

13. grape/B grape grape/P

14. orange orange/P orange/3

15. plum/2 plum/2 plum

16. cherry orange/P cherry/P


not sure if in right order or anything got a funny feeling there in backwards, but confirmed from reel skill off that vid and crossed-checked against the guy playing it. gonna maybe look at mame a bit more, looks like i might of listed them backwards, gonna draft the reels in a sec , build a temp layout and see if i can get them to match.

#4 tga


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Posted 08 October 2013 - 06:01 AM

finsihed ripping the reels from the above video , not great , since the machine has a light over the reels/number spinner will eventually need to get a sphinx cab. really test mame now and see if i can insert all this messed up images. probs need to give them set x-y pixel definition, but will try without, see if i can get lucky. pretty sure reels start jp cherry/2 jp/2 first <--> cherry - orange/P - cherry/P last.

#5 tga


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Posted 08 October 2013 - 06:31 AM

reels dont seem to match my list. so looks like different  start position, unsure :/ will work it out later after i get some kip. if someone wants to build a .lay file, get it in mame , create/rip reel images, and have a go at locating start positions, that would be really helpful. Having a temp layout would allow for skinning of all the f3 machines listed. im 2 tired, going bed , yawn.

#6 Daryl


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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:55 AM

Thank you for starting the info about MAME for the FME scene… this is really the very useful peace of information for our scene layout designers to try to understand for future layouts in the emulator.


It is gratefully appreciated tga mate :)

All The Best

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On 23 June 2011, I was diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease  In November 2012, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and Parkinsonian Syndrome too.
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#7 tga


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Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:54 AM

i seem to be looseing sleep over this lol , thanks daryl :), managed to figure the reel setups, as mame has issues with 0.150 and the reels being a bit jumpy, i will check previous mame releses and see if one of the builds dosnt give this problem, nudges can/could cause the reels to go out of aline as well.  as ive matched the reel setups to reel skill off the video, i need to hit reel skill of hidden features ( as no exchange is working ) without getting nudges, probably isnt gonna happen for 1000 resets, but if i cant find a version of the emu that keeps the reels in-line this could be the only way at the moment to place the reel list accurately.


i played sphinx/pyramid a lot in quasar in nottingham , im sure a few of you know it, i remember the reels were a little jumpy on there cabs, but after a few spins they always aligned dunno if that could be the case here.  I'l investigate further.

#8 tga


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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:07 PM

been looking at the mame source, figured out the missing int could be the exchange button, might rebuild mame to add this in and test.  Maybe not a problem with mame but reading the pyramid tech manual, i notice theres something to keep the reels stablized, might need to add a function to keep the reels in check as they have horrible alignment problems at the moment, sometimes goes up when nudgeing and in a coupel of cases , skips a fruit altogther.  I have 90% of the lamps figured, so i could build a layout now.  Difficult cutting up the video above to make a layout but i might as well give it a go :)

#9 Guest_barcrest junky_*

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:49 PM

Oh my god, someone is giving a layout a go. Good on you. For my part I can point you to some who has, or will shortly have the machine, see this post on sister site http://www.fruitemu....nx/#entry219263

Any help I can give I will. Thank you. Good luck.

Gazza aka bj

#10 altharic


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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:53 PM

Don't mention mame over there cavey will shit kittens.

#11 Guest_barcrest junky_*

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:00 PM

Don't mention mame over there cavey will shit kittens.


#12 fuzion


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Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:18 AM

Wow, this is great . Good luck and thanks for posting this.



// stumblin' in the neon groves

#13 Guest_Tommy c_*

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 08:38 AM

Don't know how i managed to miss this thread,but anything fme related is always welcome,thanks for the in depth posts.

#14 Guest_Tommy c_*

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:37 PM


#15 tga


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Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:09 AM

im still on the case, will defo need a flyer for a dx, ripping the above video can be done, but with little accuracy. will post more later....

#16 stanmarsh14



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Posted 18 October 2013 - 11:00 AM

im still on the case, will defo need a flyer for a dx, ripping the above video can be done, but with little accuracy. will post more later....


Way we do it in MFME if we can not source a flyer, is to get some hi res photos done of the actual machine at three angles..... left, right, and strait on facing, and use photoshop for editing etc.

#17 fuzion


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Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:11 PM

Might struggle getting a flyer and even images, but in mfme we can create a layout without graphics, we call it a classic layout, instead of graphics we use boxes and text.  It's possible to create the classic images in photoshop, I believe this is how some layouts were created in BFeMulator.



// stumblin' in the neon groves

#18 spa


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Posted 18 October 2013 - 07:37 PM

If someone could set me up i'd give a hand.


I have always made my classics from a trail and error. Even ones without photos to go from.


I rekon I could piece this together in a few hours.

http://www.youtube.com/FruitVideos - My youtube channel


https://drive.google...R3ZTMTBIQTdwWUU- My Drive






#19 tga


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Posted 18 October 2013 - 09:15 PM

well the big problem is the reel alignment issue, if you notice, after nudges the reels become a bit bouncy , also as i understand from the service manual , theres a servo to put the reels in place, would need to program emulation for this into mame as the first step, then reels could be skinned and added in , after that can piece togther all the 255 lamps.  To produce a classic you would need to move round the layout haze has provided. Changing the x-y-z values of the lamps and reel location as well in the default ecoinf3.lay, so if you took that file as a template, change the postion/size of the lamps you have your classic.


this is the file mame uses to lay out its display.



looking at the code, could just be the reel state offset that is making the reels a little "il-logical", i know that 4 of the number reels are features, dunno if theres a difference between v1 and v2 , one might have features removed from it.


to help get everyone started, im adding some crappy ripps of the reels into a mame layout so people can have a look and have a pop at making something the old fahsioned way, with notepad.  i'l upload inabout an hour after i get them roughly right.

#20 tga


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Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:03 PM




if you pop that into your artwork folder in mame, and enable artwork (should be enabled but double check if it dosnt work) and we have reel rips from the video above.


*the reels arn't in right order (and the graphics are cheap quick rips), i think i need to watch the emu , get wins and stuff and place location to the fruit number and match the image.


if you want to help, watch the emu and try and place the fruitnumber ( in the .lay file, stepper 1,2,3 = reel 1,2,3 , fruit1:7.png, if you find it to be a plum, look in the zip file for image names, cherrp.png =cherry with pyramid symbol, 73.png 7 with 3 number. change the layout round and we'l see if we can get it to match. might not be possible as the reels fubar, but lets give it a go.

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